Deputy Director, Programs

IRC - The International Rescue Committee

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Job Description

IRC initially established its offices in southwestern Côte d'Ivoire in the late 1990s to support Liberian refugees. In 2003, the Abidjan office was reopened to address humanitarian needs arising from the civil conflict and a new influx of Liberian refugees. Since then, IRC's efforts have evolved from emergency response and early recovery programs to long-term recovery and development initiatives. IRC collaborates closely with civil society organizations, local authorities, and beneficiary populations, coordinating its activities from a central office in Abidjan and three field offices in Yamoussoukro, Man, and Korhogo.

Currently, IRC's operations in Côte d'Ivoire focus on four key areas: Economic Recovery and Development (ERD), Health, Protection and Empowerment of Women, and Education, Development, and Protection of Children and Youth. Cross-cutting activities include women's protection and empowerment and social cohesion. IRC's programs aim to restore local health and education services, strengthen community governance, increase the income and assets of the most vulnerable, and enhance women's security and empowerment. IRC is currently implementing 14 projects throughout most of Côte d'Ivoire. IRC is particular in that its funding portfolio includes several private donors such as foundations and private sector companies and all projects are implemented in partnership with local organizations.

The Deputy Director, Programs (DDP) oversees the program portfolio of IRC Côte d’Ivoire, working closely with the Country Director (CD), Program & Support teams to provide overall leadership, management, and strategic vision for developing and implementing high quality programs based on the principles of results, data-driven analysis, problem identification and problem solving. The DDP is expected to contribute to high levels of teamwork and inter-departmental and cross-sectoral collaboration. S/he will lead the design and the implementation of Strategy 100 in Côte d’Ivoire , and ensure effective program coordination, the mobilization of resources, technical or otherwise to drive the delivery of programs on scope, on budget and on time.

S/he is responsible for ensuring that program teams have the required knowledge, information, access to tools and systems, and other relevant resources to deliver high quality, high impact programs. The DDP will provide on-the-ground support to program implementation teams by troubleshooting issues preemptively, mentoring & coaching, providing technical support and gap filling when required. S/he will actively participate in relevant thematic coordination platforms on behalf of IRC and will represent IRC programs to donors, major stakeholders, relevant government authorities and other program partners. The DDP is part of the Senior Management Team (SMT) with supervisory and managerial responsibilities of Technical Coordinators, Grants, MEAL & Partnership Coordinators. The DDP must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support IRC Côte d’Ivoire’s portfolio.

Major Responsibilities:

Strategy & planning

• Champion IRC’s Strategy 100. Lead the development of the Cote d’Ivoire Strategic Action Plan (SAP) with guidance from the Country Director and disseminate to external and internal stakeholders. Ensure that the country team is familiar with the Strategic Action Plan and that all programs are in line with IRC Côte d’Ivoire’s strategy.

• Lead the development, follow up and progress review of the SAP – implementation plan (SAP-IP) and associated budget in collaboration with all departments and key resource persons identified in the SAP-IP, in line with organizational guidelines and country program needs.

• Lead the SAP reporting in line with organizational guidelines, through a participatory process across key staff to monitor progress.

• Chair the SAP country team, ensuring close monitoring of actions and timely reporting.

• Work with the management team to develop operational budgets that reflect a detailed understanding of the parameters of the situation, the needs of the beneficiaries, the resources available and the technical possibilities.

• Supervise the roll out of program related SAP initiatives.

Business development & program design

• In conjunction with the ESMT, lead the development, implementation and review of IRC’s country program business development strategy to ensure that individual sector programs, overall strategy and operations are adequately funded.

• Lead on the development of innovative concept notes and funding proposals in collaboration with Country and regional technical leads, Finance, M&E, Supply Chain and HR teams.

• Ensure the highest level of quality in program design through robust and in-depth context analysis, development of theories of change and sector level strategies.

• Ensure that IRC’s programs are responsive to community needs and are built and delivered to enhance community resilience.

• Ensure that rigorous M&E processes and results-based management, periodic and systematic learning inform program design and adaptation.

Portfolio management & quality program implementation

• Provide strategic and technical leadership in the management of the Côte d’Ivoire program portfolio to ensure coordinated implementation, enhanced resource optimization, cross program learning and adaptive management.

• Responsively troubleshoot, make decisions, and enhance the decision-making capacity of program staff to ensure that all bottlenecks are consistently and adequately addressed.

• Provide the leadership, capacity building and tools to create a culture of program delivery on scope, on budget and on time.

• Ensure that all programs have and regularly update essential program management tools (Detailed Implementation Plan, Budget Forecast, BvA, Procurement Plan, Work Plan, Staffing Plan, etc.)

• Ensure regular coordination of program, finance and operations key staff for regular program review meetings (weekly and monthly meetings, as well as PCM)

• Ensure that program resources are used efficiently, effectively, and transparently towards meeting desired results and in line with IRC and donor requirements. Ensure that monthly BvA meetings are held to monitor expenses.

• Lead in establishing or promoting adherence to systems, policies and approaches necessary to ensure and demonstrate the quality of programs through oversight of the MEL, Research and Learning, Reporting, Client Responsiveness, GEDI data collection I and other technical support functions.

• Ensure adherence to the IRC’s quality standards for programming, IMPACT

• Guide advocacy efforts on relevant sectoral policies and communities of practice.

• Establish strong working relationships with technical units and technical advisors to ensure adequate remote and in-country support in line with country office needs and strategic direction.

• Organize and chair regular program coordination meetings with relevant staff.

• Travel to field offices to oversee and guide project implementation.

• Support Program Managers to oversee performance of their team, partners, sub-grantees, and technical contractors.

• Facilitate sharing and learning across program portfolios, teams, offices, and support teams to incorporate learning in program design and management.

• Ensure the programs fulfil donor requirements; guide the team to ensure high quality implementation approaches that are consistent with national and global strategies and acknowledge good practices.

• Support and oversee the implementation of financial controls for program expenditures in accordance with headquarters and Côte d'Ivoire policies and procedures.

Monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning

• Develop staff understanding and use of IRC's OEF-Outcome and Evidence framework.

• Ensure effective collaboration between M&E staff, Technical Coordinators, and Programme Managers in the development of log frames, indicators, implementation plans, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks and related tools.

• Create and maintain systems to ensure efficient and transparent capture of program data for management decision-making and timely and informative internal and external reporting.

• Ensure that the Project Indicator Dashboard (PID) and other relevant tools for all projects are maintained, shared and used monthly.

• Ensure high quality evaluations are conducted to demonstrate outcomes and impact and accountability mechanisms are in place for all projects with a focus on knowledge management.

• Participate in technical evaluations by reviewing terms of reference, reports, and verifying the quality of activities.

• Ensure adequate budgeting for M&E, accountability and learning activities in all proposals.

• Support systems to ensure regular collection of impact stories, lessons learned and evidence from the implementation teams on a regular basis.

• Ensure the development and implementation of a program research and learning agenda to build evidence and support the production of robust thought leadership and advocacy efforts.

• Ensure that capacity statements, one pagers, video case studies, and other key communications materials (factsheets, brochures, leaflets, flyers, etc.) are developed and maintained.

• Ensure program teams are trained on the client responsiveness mechanism and that these are put in place and operational, and anti-fraud and safeguarding measures considered in program design/implementation.

• Ensure all key project and program documentation is properly archived electronically and physically.

Grants & partnership management

• In collaboration with the Grants Coordinator and sector Coordinators, ensure that quality reports are produced and submitted to donors and headquarters on time.

• Ensure that donor compliance requirements are mainstreamed during all phases of program cycle management.

• Ensure that all reports (both internal and external) are timely, of high-quality, and responsive to donor requirements in collaboration with a variety of teams.

• In collaboration with the Partnerships Coordinator, ensure progress in the implementation of the new strategy with a strong focus on partnerships (systematically including local NGOs in all new proposals, increasing the proportion of the budget allocated to local NGOs, identifying strategic partnerships, finalizing the mapping of state partners).

• Ensure that partners are managed according to IRC’s Partnerships Excellence for Equality and Results System (PEERS) policies and procedures, including partnership agreements for project implementation and strategic partnerships.

Team management

• With the support of the Country Director, supervise and mentor staff under direct supervision, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance goals, creating a supportive environment while emphasizing accountability, providing regular and constructive feedback on performance in a timely manner, and conducting documented semi-annual performance reviews.

• Support capacity-building projects for program staff by encouraging professional development activities.

• Maintain open and professional relationships with team members, fostering a strong team spirit and providing supervision and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform their duties.

• Promote and monitor the care and well-being of staff. Model healthy work-life balance practices. Support appropriate interventions in response to identified health care needs of national and international staff.

• Work with the leadership team to ensure that the Program team maintains a high level of professional commitment.

• Collaborate with HR staff to identify and implement recruitment and retention strategies.

• Model and encourage the active practice of the principles of the IRC Way - Global Standards for Professional Conduct throughout the Côte d'Ivoire country program.

• Maintain a healthy and empowering office environment that encourages open, honest and productive communication between IRC staff and partner organizations.

• Maintain open communication with regional management staff, regional technical advisors and headquarters staff.


• Communicate with the Country Director on security issues within and outside the office that may affect programmatic activities.

• Report to the Country Director or Human Resources Coordinator or Ethics and Compliance Unit (ECU) channels any irregularities or suspected fraud that occur within the office, staff and IRC partners with respect to the application of local and global policies and procedures.

Influence & representation

• Represent IRC and IRC's interests to government officials, donors, the UN and other operational and implementing partners.

• Support the Country Director in cultivating strategic partnerships or relationships with new/existing donors, potential consortium partners and other stakeholders to further strategic development opportunities.

• Build productive relationships with donors, national/regional/local government authorities, private sector actors, and local/international organizations in Côte d’Ivoire, in close coordination with the Country Director.

• Represent IRC at all relevant coordination meetings and increasingly play a lead role in other advocacy and coordination bodies.

• Other activities/responsibilities as needed.


At the request of the Country Director, take responsibility for all other tasks not covered in this job description.

Job requirements

• BAC+5/6 or higher degree in international relations, community development, economics or related discipline.

• At least five years of supervisory experience and seven years of post-conflict or development program management experience demonstrating successful supervisory experience at appropriate levels for a portfolio of a variety of complex, high-value donor-funded projects.

• Expertise and knowledge in a range of sectors (should include any or all of the following: health, women's protection and empowerment, economic recovery and development, child and youth protection and development, governance).

• Must be an innovative and creative problem solver with a demonstrated ability to analyze complex issues, make sound decisions and translate programmatic priorities into operational strategies quickly and accurately.

• Extensive representation, including previous experience working with CDC, USAID, National Government (as donors), private sector donors, UN agencies as well as other major European, American and international donors.

• Experience in fundraising with private sector donors and/or localization is a plus.

• Proven ability to manage people, multi-task, time management and diplomacy.

• Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to clearly and persuasively express ideas and concepts with key internal and external stakeholders.

• Excellent ability to review documentation such as deliverables (reports, proposals), memos, etc.

• Demonstrated skills and experience in NGO administration, finance and logistics systems.

• Motivated and positive individual who excels at taking initiative and is able to motivate team members to produce results under pressure.

• Fluent in French and english

Strong commitment to the vision, mission and core values of the IRC.

Female applicants strongly encouraged

In its policy for the promotion of women at work, IRC gives great importance to female leadership through an appropriate framework managed by the IRC Women Staffs and attractive benefits that are attributed to them. These include:

• The creation of the Women at Work Group: this group has a budget and works on activities aimed at the development of female leadership, the empowerment of women and the development of conditions favorable to their fulfillment and the adequacy of their private professional life (taking care of the nanny during missions).

• Capacity building through the 6-month Compass and Navigator training programs in which priority is given to women.

• The support and backing of the entire Organization through its policy in favor of reducing gender inequalities.

• Frameworks for exchange and consultation created to improve the conditions of women at work and in their social environment.

• An attractive compensation package.



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